Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Open letter to my darling baby

Dear Baby,

The time is almost here when your father and I will get to see your precious little face for the first time. The bittersweet end of an era is approaching for us, and for me in particular. I will miss feeling your hiccups and watching you settle in my belly at night. While I will probably try to carry you everywhere after you arrive, you will never be as dependent upon me as you are right now. Carrying you in my belly has been a deeply gratifying experience. You have been quite the polite tenant, sparing me heart burn, breathlessness, and morning sickness. I imagine your future sibling(s) will not be so accommodating.

We are elated to meet you, to see who you look like, to feel your skin and hear your cries. You are the synthesis of two people who love each other purely and genuinely, and we will do everything in our power to make sure you always know this truth. You are now part of a family that we have worked hard to establish, a family that has been steeped in common experiences and long conversations about love and humanity and politics and God (maybe not in that order). While we may have spent hours poring over the details of your nursery, we have spent years assembling a community of caring, intentional adults who will help us frame your world. While we may have set aside tiny portions of our income for your education, we have invested immeasurable amounts of energy into this community because we want you to love them as we love them. We have learned to make ourselves vulnerable and accountable with them so that we can be the same to you.

Your father and I want to give you so many things, but we know we will fail at some. We are imperfect and human, and you are our maiden voyage. You have the burden of a firstborn, carrying your parents as they come to know their true selves in raising children. You are entitled to be angry with us, to tell us painful truths, and to ignore us, because we know we will deserve all of these things at one time or another. But our greatest hope for you is that through what may be a tumultuous childhood, we will help you become the kind of adult we admire, who gives of herself and has no regrets. The interconnectedness of all life is undeniable, and you will change the lives of so many people. Just try to change them for the better, as we know you will have changed ours.

Your Parents.

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